Crossbow vs Compound bow

There is a long-standing tradition of bow use throughout history. In fact, bows were one of the first weapons to be made by early modern humans and use has been widespread across all cultures for millennia. Archers can find evidence of bows as far back as 10,000 BC in what is now Hungary but from then until the present day, different types of bow designs have evolved which are used for hunting or target practice.

Archery is Fun, but it Takes Practice

Often, people assume that once they have bought an archery bow, they can start using it right away. However, archery takes a lot of practice to get used to and there is a lot more to owning an archery bow than simply buying one. Knowledge about the history of archery will help new users learn more about this fascinating sport. 

Here are a few important things to remember: You don’t need to be super strong or athletic- There are many misconceptions about what it takes to be an archer. For example, jocks at school may brag about how “stronger” they are than the archers in class. If you're thinking about getting a new bow, chances are you have questions. 

The bow market is becoming more and more crowded and it can be tough to cut through the noise and figure out what exactly is going on. In the bow market there are so many different types of bows, and so many ways to categorize them that you can often get lost in the details. Here we discuss, crossbow vs compound bow:

Crossbow VS Compound Bow

The compound bow is a type of bow that is shot when the archer holds its arms straight down, in parallel to the ground. It has a long history in hunting and warfare throughout North America, Europe and Asia. A crossbow is fired by drawing back both arms while at an angle with respect to the ground, or by turning around to fire it from behind one's back.

Compound bows are traditionally spear guards mounted with arrow rests on a rib that protrude inward, allowing them to be used while wearing full armor; they should not be confused with recurve bows which have an outward-curving grip but no recurve limbs. Examples of compound bows that are typically sold and used by those who hunt are the recurved type. 

The typical user of a compound bow is a hunter or archer, though it is also commonly used by hunters in other sports and recreation. In nearly all cases, to fire a compound bow the arms must be held straight down, parallel to the ground. For example, a hunter on horseback may hold the reins with one arm while drawing back the bowstring with the other.

If you’re in the market for a new hunting weapon, there are many factors to consider. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both compound bow vs crossbow so you can make the best decision for your situation. You may need to trade certain things away when making a choice between one or the other. 

For example, compound bows tend to be more expensive than crossbows but they deliver more power as well as accuracy. They also require less maintenance than crossbows since they don’t have any strings that can tangle.

Pros of a Compound Bow

The compound bow is one of the most popular hunting and target bows in the world. This type of bow offers many advantages to hunters, some of which are discussed below.

Compound bow

  • Great Range

These bows provide greater range and accuracy than traditional bows. This means they can be used over longer distances in a more efficient manner. They also require a more powerful draw weight, which allows them to send arrows faster and with greater force than other types of bows. 

  • Easy to Maintain

Compound bows are generally easier to maintain, thanks to their self-cleaning nocks that keep sticking arrows clean during use (unlike traditional longbows).  They are also able to shoot arrows using a small amount of tension, which can be more useful to hunters who do not have much strength and power. 

  • More Comfortable

Compound bows can be more comfortable, thanks to traditional back bows that allow a hunter to bend at the waist while drawing the bowstring. This action is generally better for hunters than traditional recurve bows, which require strong upper body muscles in order to gather and hold the string at full draw. 

  • Great Accuracy

Compound bows offer greater accuracy due to the thin limbs and narrow width over long distances. However, this makes them less practical for shooting burrs or hitting small animals such as rabbits.  It is also difficult for some to draw the string for traditional compound bows, which can be a problem for hunters who do not have as much strength or flexibility. 

  • Better than Recurve Bows

In the case of crossbow vs compound bow, there are some differences but in comparison with recurve bows, traditional compound bows are generally more durable than traditional recurve bows; however, they are still vulnerable to falling apart. Many people choose to maintain compound bows by adjusting their center of gravity and using a bow press, rather than replacing damaged limbs with new ones. 

The relatively high draw weight of the limbs provides better pulling power and improves mechanical efficiency compared to traditional recurve bows. Although this type of bow requires more maintenance than other types, it is also more versatile and easier to use on game animals.

Cons of Compound Bows

Compound bows are increasingly popular because they offer many advantages over the recurve. These advantages, however, can be negated by a few disadvantages.

  • The cable has to be adjusted for each arrow within about 0.25 pounds of its draw weight. An adjustment takes about 20 seconds and this is a real disadvantage when in the middle of an archery tournament.
  • The bow string exerts a significant amount of force against the riser when drawn. For a crossbow vs compound bow, crossbows have a great amount of force against the riser. 
  • The cables are often hard to see and have to be strung through unusual positions such as the toe or heel. This is not really a disadvantage but tends to be more time consuming.
  • With recurve bows, the safety notch on the string is longer which enables a much greater amount of string movement before unlatching or unlatching completely. This is another disadvantage as archers may remove their limbs from the arrow by accident if they are not used to this feature.

Pros of Crossbow

If you have been wondering what the advantages of a crossbow are, well here is a list on why it's a good idea to own one.


  • It's portable and easy to use.
  • If used correctly, the crossbow can kill or injure an animal at a distance up to 100 yards.
  • If used correctly on humans it will inflict serious injuries and possibly death.
  • When equipped with the proper training, it can be an effective weapon for hunting games such as deer.
  • It has less kickback than normal bows.
  • Unlike other types of bows which are either made of wood or fiberglass, this bow uses carbon fiber for its construction. Hence this makes it lighter and stronger.
  • Anyone who is above the age of 13 years old can use it without any safety concerns.
  • It has a modern design and is made of high strength materials which has improved arrow accuracy.
  • For a crossbow vs compound bow, the crossbow is more simple to use as you just have to pull back the string and hold open sights.
  • You can easily take it apart and put it in your trunk.
  • It's great for hunting or target practice.
  • They are highly affordable, with a wide range of prices that one can choose depending on what they want.
  • It's suitable for people who are looking for a viable alternative to the traditional bow.

Cons of Crossbow

Crossbows also have an easier draw, so they can be aimed more accurately and can be used with greater power in the event of a melee attack. In terms of disadvantages, there are not many besides the fact that you will need to learn how to use one first before it becomes effective. 

In case of crossbow vs compound bow, learning how to shoot a crossbow will take practice and time as you need to draw back its string without breaking it and aiming it at your target properly based on its distance away (getting shorter results in better aim).

Crossbow vs Compound bow: Which is Better?

Both compound and crossbows share their proficiency in accuracy, the need for practice to build skill, and the principles of leverage. One is better than the other, though, because compound bows are more maneuverable and quieter. Crossbows require a lot of strength to draw back without breaking or shooting your lower spine through your hip or knee. 

In a survival situation where you must use a bow for hunting and self-defense, the crossbow can be an effective tool with its portability, range limits (compound bows can reach up to 50 yards), relative silence (compound bow's only drawback), and higher power than hunting weapons like shotguns or rifles.